Friday roundup: Frontline tries out virtual reality; Gerdeman talks development trends

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PBS has a "great story to tell," Gerdeman says. (Photo: Les Kamens of The Photo Group)

PBS has a “great story to tell,” Gerdeman says. (Photo: Les Kamens of The Photo Group)

• Frontline is among partners working on an experiment in virtual-reality journalism, which will use coverage of the Ebola crisis in Africa as a test case for the nascent form of reporting. “Virtual reality, combined with the ability to add interactive elements, changes the positionality of the journalists, breaking down the fourth wall of journalism,” writes Taylor Owen of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “Storytelling is pulled from its bound linear form, and moved to a far more fluid space where the audience has new (though still limited) agency in the experience of the story.”

• Betsy Gerdeman, PBS’s senior v.p. of development services, answers some questions for the PBS Station Products & Innovation blog. “PBS has a great story to tell of our mission and our service,” Gerdeman said. “We need to be able to articulate that purpose clearly for all donors. And more and more we need to be able to measure the impact we have, whether it is early learning through PBS Kids, supporting teachers with Learning Media, our work in the arts or news and public affairs.” Gerdeman joined PBS earlier this year.

• Digiday takes a look at how Mother Jones has managed to stay afloat as a nonprofit. The publication’s strategy includes bringing in half of its income from donations, partnering with other journalism outlets, and somehow justifying links to Buzzfeed dog videos, also known as “mastering social media.” Note to self: Post more dog videos.

• PBS NewsHour shares co-anchor Judy Woodruff’s recipe for Georgia Cheese Biscuits. Mmm, tasty.